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Jesus Christ Superstar @ Playhouse Theatre, 20th August 2010 – Live Review

Review: Lana Harris

Rocking great guitar riffs fill the sold out venue, slow notes trembling across the grey walls of a ruined cathedral set, preparing the audience to receive the voice of Tod Strike. As Judas, he opens the narrative by launching into ‘Heaven on Their Minds’, a song which allows Strike to demonstrate a truly commanding voice and worthy of one of the lead roles in this production.

  This reimagining of the original production of Jesus Christ Superstar (first performed in 1971) has a pared back, post apocalyptic set that doesn’t change, and puts the focus on the singing, as does the score – which tells the whole narrative by using more than 20 songs to move the story forward. Not a single piece of dialogue is presented without a backing melody. The basic storyline is easy to follow – easier if you’re familiar with the story of Jesus, because even though this is a post apocalyptic version of a musical first performed in the seventies based on an interpretation of a book written centuries ago, the plot is still the basic biblical storyline of Jesus gets famous, Jesus is betrayed by jealous best friend, Jesus is crucified as a result of the backstabber.

The post apocalyptic setting of this tale makes it easy to draw parallels between this and the lives of modern day celebrities. The scenes where the supporting cast forms a mosh pit as Jesus sings boost the resemblance.

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